Obsidian Theatre Company and Nightwood Theatre Present RUINED, Opens 1/16


Obsidian Theatre Company in association with Nightwood Theatre is thrilled to present the Toronto premiere of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize award-winning play Ruined. Written by Lynn Nottage and starring theatre and film veterans, Yanna McIntosh and Sterling Jarvis, the story is set in a small mining town in the civil war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ruined follows a young woman's path to Mama Nadi, a savvy businesswoman who, in the midst of a complex civil war, both protects and profits from the women whose bodies have become battlegrounds. At once heartbreaking and captivating, Ruined pays homage to the courageous and resilient women who must piece themselves together after the ruin.

Philip Akin, Obsidian Theatre Company Artistic Director and director of Ruined, remarks, "It was in 2008 that I first heard of this play and I have been working to produce it ever since. Ruined is a necessity for me. Well perhaps more of an obsession really. This story has hit me deep inside and no matter what, I needed to bring this play to the stage. This is a play of survivors. Not victims. And that is an African story that you do not see very often. The women in this play are the distillation of many women who have survived horrors we can only imagine and yet they are still wrapped in humanity. How could I not want these people to live here for our audience?"

Ruined stars seasoned theatre, film and television veterans, Yanna McIntosh and Sterling Jarvis. Akin has assembled an impressive creative team for this Toronto premiere including set designer Gillian Gallow, Costume Designer Nadine Grant, lighting designer Rebecca Picherack, Sound Designer Chris Stanton and stage manager Michael Sinclair.

Lynn Nottage, Playwright

Lynn Nottage was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1964. Her parents were a schoolteacher and a child psychologist. Keen on theatre from an early age, she attended New York's High School of Music and Art, before Brown University and Yale School of Drama. Her work often deals with the lives of African Americans and the struggles of women.

Apart from Ruined, Intimate Apparel is probably Nottage's best known play, centered on the story of an African-American woman's journey to independence, with her moving to New York to pursue her dreams and becoming a seamstress. Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine could be seen as a thematic sequel to this, and once again involves an African- American woman dealing with change in New York. Undine is a successful publicist living in

Manhattan until her husband leaves her taking all her money. She is forced to return to Brooklyn, to her former existence, and to deal with her working-class relatives. Nottage was awarded the Guggenheim Grant for Playwriting in 2005. In 2007 Nottage won the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant and the National Black Theatre Festival's August Wilson Playwriting Award. Ruined itself won several high-profile awards including an Obie for Best New American Play in 2008, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2009 and most recently, co-winner of the newly established Horton Foote Prizes, awarded on August 30, 2010 named in honour of the late legendary writer. Lynn Nottage is a visiting lecturer at Yale School of Drama and sits on The Dramatists Guild Council, an alumna of new American dramatists

Philip Akin, Director

Philip Akin is an accomplished actor/director/producer and has been the Artistic Director for the Obsidian Theatre Company since 2006.

Most Recent Directing:

Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage (2010) for Obsidian Theatre/ Citadel Theatre and the Canadian Stage Company, Factory Theatre: Toronto the Good by Andrew Moodie (2009), Obsidian Theatre Company: Black Medea by Wesley Enoch (2008),Born Ready by Joseph Jomo Pierre (2008), Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage (2008), International Playwrights Forum (2008)

Upcoming: Shaw Festival: Topdog Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks
Ground Zero Productions: West Indies Diary by Pat Darbasie

Yanna McIntosh, Mama Nadi

Recent credits: Hermione in The Winter's Tale, Mme. Volange in Dangerous Liaisons, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Calphurnia in Julius Caesar, Helen of Troy in Trojan Women (Stratford Festival); Maud/Victoria in Cloud Nine (Mirvish Productions); Condoleeza Rice in Stuff Happens (Studio 180/Canadian Stage), Karen in the TMN series The Line and Deepa Mehta's film Heaven on Earth. Other credits: Mary Stuart, Phedre (Soulpepper Theatre); Michael Healey's Generous; Kyra in the Toronto premiere of David Hare's Skylight (Dora award) (Tarragon Theatre); The Syringa Tree (Dora Nomination), Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew (Canadian Stage); The Monument (Dora Nomination), The Piano Lesson (Obsidian Theatre); Hedda Gabler (Dora Nomination) (Volcano Theatre), Lambton Kent (Volcano/Edinburgh Festival); the title role in Florence Gibson's Belle (Dora nomination) (Factory Theatre/NAC); Love's Labour's Lost, The Bear (NAC); Athol Fugard's Valley Song (Dora Award)(New Globe Theatre); Trace, which she co-wrote and performed; Tartuffe (ART), A Fertile Imagination (Theatre Passe Muraille), Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang (Young People's Theatre) and The Illusion, Antony and Cleopatra, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night (Stratford Festival). Yanna has taught at the National Theatre School and Humber College directing students in productions of Macbeth, Julius Caesar and Richard III. Film and television credits include Doomstown (Gemini Award), Finn's Girl, This is Wonderland, The Sentinel, A Raisin in the Sun and Riverdale.

Sterling Jarvis, Christian

Born in Digby, Nova Scotia and raised in Toronto, Sterling Jarvis started performing at a young age. Described by the media as "red-hot" and "honey voiced", this two-time Juno award nominee can be heard singing the television theme songs for Donkey Kong Country and Zaboomafoo, as well as several television and radio commercials. He was recently seen on the big screen in The Sentinel with Michael Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland, Eva Longoria, and Kim Basinger, and has appeared in commercials as a spokesperson for Rogers and Kellogg's All Bran Bars. Other credits include: Perfect Strangers (CBS); The Eleventh Hour (CTV); The West Wing (NBC); Felicity (Warner Bros.); ‘Til Death Do Us Part (Global/Court TV). On stage, Sterling performed as "Simba" and "Pumba" in the Toronto production of Disney's The Lion King, as well as "Crooks" in the Canadian Stage production, Of Mice and Men. He recently appeared as "Duff" in the hit musical by Queen, We Will Rock You, a show that's been described as an unstoppable juggernaut of entertainment and has played to over one million audience members in its two-and-a-half year run. Sterling has lent his voice to various charitable events, including the Easter Seals Telethon, The Actors' Fund, Run for the Cure, Theatre by the Bay, and is featured on billboards and in public service announcements across the city of Toronto, promoting Toronto Police Services' and Cybertip's internet safety campaign, "Every Keystroke Has A Consequence."

Richard Alan Campbell, Harari

Richard Alan Campbell most recently appeared in Theatre By The Bay's production of Taming Of The Shrew. He is will soon start rehearsals for an October/November remount of, The Great War, his fifth show with legendary company, VideoCabaret, for whom he also appeared in Laurier, The Saskatchewan Rebellion, Canadian Pacific Scandal, and The Red River Rebellion. Other selected theatre: It's A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol (Theatre New Brunswick); Duke of Gloucester in King Lear, Angelo in Comedy Of Errors (Driftwood Theatre); Seven seasons with Shakespeare in the Rough, including the roles, Lucio in Measure For Measure, Iago in Othello, as well as the title roles in Titus Andronicus, King John, and The Merchant of Venice; Mr. Robinson in The Graduate (The Grand Theatre); Conscientia (Summerworks); Waiting For Lefty; and Audience Unveiling Protest (The CO); Petra (Theatre Direct), Sideshow of the Damned (Eldritch Theatre). Movies and TV include: Odyssey Five, Warehouse 13, Charlie Bartlett, 5ive Girls and Sue Thomas FB Eye.

Marci T House, Josephine

Marci T House is excited to be making her Toronto stage debut. Her film/tv credits include: Party of Five, The District, Arrest & Trial, Jake in Progress, The L Word, Bionic Woman, Reaper, Smallville, ‘V', Supernatural, Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story, Reaper, Caprica, The Farm, Pulling, Vampire Diaries, Facing Kate, Fringe, The Playaz Court, Final Breakdown, Elegy, Sheltered Life, A Higher Form of Learning, X-Files 2:The Movie, Playing For Keeps, The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, & Charlie St. Cloud. Stage credits include: the original stage production of Opening Doors - Elephant Theater, Los Angeles (three NAACP Theater Awards nominations), The Miracle Worker - Vancouver Playhouse (Jessie Award Winner), A Streetcar Named Desire - Blue Bridge Theatre Company (Victoria, BC), and most recently HAMLET - Havana Theatre (Vancouver, BC).

Daniso Ndhlovu, Musician

From days of a three stringed home made banjo Daniso's passion for the guitar has never waned. Growing up in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, musical instruments were not easily accessible for budding musicians as they would either be too expensive or just not a priority for an average Zimbabwean family. At age 13, Daniso made his first very own standard 6-string guitar mimicking a standard guitar. He recalls being shown the three most common guitar chords, G-C-D and never looked back from that point. Playing at local events and interacting with veteran musicians like Alois Kumpeu, Handsome Mabhiza, Pastor Clyde Bismark, the late Collen Wyngard and many others, broadened his musical scope. After moving to Toronto in 2002, Daniso has been featured or has collaborated with artists like: Dianne Clemmons, Natasha Waterman, Londa Larmond, South African Bass Legend Bakithi Kumalo, Johnny Gillard, Rhema Worship and Praise and many others. He appears weekly on CTS TV on Rhema Today and is ranked among the top 50 finalists in the Taylor Guitars "Test Drive Acoustic 2010". Daniso's debut album "Movin' On" will capture any listener's attention as it covers a wide variety of tastes. The track "Everlasting Love" shot up to number 6 on the Toronto Jazz Charts on its first week of release.

MuoiNene, Simon

Theatre credits include: Volcano (The Africa Trilogy - Shine Your Eye; The Africa Trilogy - Glo); AfriCan Theatre Ensemble/Artword (Fate of A Cockroach; Market of Tales); AfriCan Theatre Ensemble (Esu and The Vagabond Minstrels). Film and TV include: Communication Matters. Muoi was born in Nairobi, Kenya; Toronto was for higher education which has mostly come on stage. He moves in dance as a sign of respect to the human form and heart that is the drum that beats life within it; he plays for it is how we learn. Long live higher education.

Thomas Olajide, Laurent

Since graduating in 2010 from The National Theatre School, Thomas Olajide has played Abraham in Toronto's Best of Fringe play "SIA". Born in Vancouver and now makes Toronto his base in order to further his artistic endeavours. After his debut with Obsidian he will continue on to "Six Degrees of Separation" as Paul with Ghost Light Projects Theatre Company.

Anthony Palmer, Kisembe

Since launching his acting career in 2002, Anthony has walked the stage with a number of theatre groups across the GTA. His most recent theatre credits include: Triple Take Productions - The Aquarium as the horny egocentric knit-wit roommate George; Etobicoke Theatre - Samuel French's Anybody for Murder as the zanny Jamaican crime writer neighbor Edgar Chambers; and Milton Players -Ray Cooney's Funny Money as Inspector Davenport. Off stage, Anthony has worked on TV productions such as - CTV & NBC's The Listener, Fox Network's - Breakout Kings, and the upcoming 2011 TV Series - XIII.

Sabryn Rock, Sophie

Sabryn Rock is an actor, singer, improviser and a graduate of the Acting program at the National Theatre School of Canada. Originally from Regina, she has performed all over Saskatchewan and Ontario. Selected theatre credits include El Numero Uno, Dead Ahead (LKTYP), Gas for the Next Stage Festival (jsquared.theatre), King Lear, The Comedy of Errors, Romeo & Juliet (Driftwood Theatre Group), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare in Action), Little Shop of Horrors (Persephone Theatre, Saskatoon), Honk!, Just So (Globe Theatre, Regina), Late (Obsidian). Sabryn was also a part of the 2007/08 apprenticeship program through Obsidian where she assistant directed Intimate Apparel and The Wizard of Oz (LKTYP). Since moving to Toronto, she has primarily focused on play development having assisted on numerous workshops for new plays. Last fall, she traveled back to Regina to shoot a pilot episode for a new comedic web-series titled inSAYSHAble. She's currently finishing her first album with rapper Apollo Creed and their soul/hip-hop group Ladyboxx.

Marc Senior, Fortune

Marc Senior is an actor, stand-up comedian, live improviser, singer and writer who is passionate about his craft and the overall development of an art form. He is honored to be a part of such a globally relevant and simply beautiful piece in Ruined. Selected theatre credits include: Gas (Next Stage Festival), Softown (Theatre Direct), Barack to the Future (Second City - Understudy). Selected stand-up comedy credits include: Nubian Disciplines of Pryor (Yuk Yuk's Comedy Club-Toronto), The Great Canadian Laugh-Off Semi-Finals (Yuk Yuk's Comedy Club-Toronto), Altdot Comedy Lounge (The Rivoli). Marc hopes to raise social-awareness threw an artistic vision that is not only unique but also relatable and relevant to an audience worldwide.

Andre Sills, Osembenga

Recent theatre credits include the title role in Richard III at Hart House Theatre, Taming of the Shrew with Theatre By The Bay, A Midsummer Night's Dream with Shakespeare In Action, The Nile at the Toronto Fringe Festival, The Overwhelming with Studio 180 and The Canadian Stage Company. André has spent four seasons working at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival acting in the following shows: Macbeth, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo & Juliet, Love's Labour's Lost, Caesar & Cleopatra, Henry IV, Part 1, The Duchess of Malfi and Pentecost. (Caesar & Cleopatra was also filmed for the Bravo Network.) André is a graduate of the Birmingham Conservatory under David Latham. He made his American theatre debut recently playing the title role in Othello, and the lead Harmond Wilks in Radio Golf with the St. Louis Black Repertory Company. Other theatre credits include Much Ado About Nothing (Canadian Stage), and Titus Andronicus (Canopy Theatre). André is a graduate of George Brown Theatre School. Upcoming theatre A Midsummer Night's Dream with Shakespeare In Action.


Sophia Walker, Salima

Sophia Walker is an award-winning actress with The Stratford Shakespeare Festival. In the last 5 years she has played an array of characters - from a young mother in Harlem Duet to Julia, a vaudeville star in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Sophia played Charmian in the Gemini-nominated film Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra and Goddess Juno in The Tempest opposite Christopher Plummer. For The Stratford Shakespeare Festival Sophia has worked with many award-winning directors such as: Djanet Sears, Peter Hinton, Des McAnuff to name a few. Playing leading roles at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival earned her The Michael Mawson Award.

Ruined Details

DATES: January 16 to February 12, 2011

MEDIA/VIP: Thursday January 20, 2011

SHOW TIMES: Tuesday to Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Wednesday 12:30 pm Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs, 26 Berkeley Street

Tickets are available by calling (416) 368.3110 or

SINGLE TICKETS: On Sale NOW. Prices range from $15-$35

INFORMATION: www.obsidian-theatre.com or www.nightwoodtheatre.net


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